International Cooperation in Research and Development

An Update to an Inventory of U.S. Government Spending

by Caroline S. Wagner, Allison Yezril, Scott Hassell

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Scientific research is becoming increasingly more globalized and more collaborative. At the same time, there is growing pressure within the United States to justify government funding for science and technology (S&T). The potential conflict between these developments raises questions of whether U.S. investment in S&T benefits U.S. taxpayers and whether investment in scientific capacity building overseas has created competition rather than mere assistance. To understand the answers to these questions, this report describes the scope and nature of U.S. spending on international cooperative research and development (ICRD) in fiscal year (FY) 1997. Most spending (over 90 percent) is for collaboration on common research problems among scientists from different countries. Aerospace S&T dominated spending, with biomedical science a distant second. This book finds that the federal government spent $4.4 billion on ICRD in FY 1997, an increase of $1.1 billion over FY 1995. However, this figure may reflect better data collection and increased reporting, rather than an actual increase in spending. The only notable change in the two-year period involves a substantial increase in cooperative activity with Russia, tied heavily to space-related projects.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Findings — U.S. Government Sponsorship of International Cooperation in Research and Development

  • Appendix A

    Methodology for Data Collection and Analysis

  • Appendix B

    Internationalization of Scientific Research

  • Appendix C

    Data Table

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Science and Technology Policy Institute.

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